November 8th, 2012 at 11:48am
Lincoln releases more in-depth information on the 2013 MKZ Hybrid. Find out why Bosch sold its entire stake in Japanese supplier Denso. Consumption of lead batteries in China outweighs output, which may lead to a shortage next year. All that and more, plus we get our look at Chevy’s redesigned 2013 Traverse.
Thanks for joining us on Autoline Daily today. Here’s some of the news you’ll need to know to keep up on what’s going on in the global automotive industry.
LINCOLN, LINCOLN, BO BINKIN
We’ve got more information on the hybrid version of the Lincoln MKZ. It will use the same Atkinson cycle 2 liter engine that goes in the hybrid version of the Ford Fusion. But the MKZ will deliver a combined 45 miles-per-gallon, or about 5 liters per 100 km. That is two less MPG’s than the Fusion, mainly because the MKZ does not use low rolling resistance tires. Ford does not charge a premium for the hybrid version of the MKZ, you can get one for the same price as the V-6 version. Base price is $36,800 with destination charges. Lincoln has the Lexus ES 300h in its crosshairs. The MKZ hybrid gets five more miles-per-gallon combined and costs $2750 less than the Lexus. Currently, the take rate for the hybrid version of the MKZ is under 20 percent, but Lincoln clearly wants that take rate to go up with the new model.
THOUSANDS OF VEHICLES SCRAPPED
Here’s a recap on Hurricane Sandy. The bad news is that hundreds of thousands of vehicles were destroyed on the east coast of the United States. The good news is they will have to be replaced. The National Auto Dealers Association says around 200,000 vehicles will have to be replaced. Toyota, Nissan, Chrysler and Honda will have to scrap around 15,000 new vehicles. Ford and GM don’t have estimates yet for their damaged vehicles. But this will be a big boost to the auto industry in the months to come.
BOSCH DUMPS DENSO
Big news involving two of the largest automotive suppliers in the world. German auto supplier Bosch sold its entire stake in Japanese supplier Denso. According to Bloomberg, Bosch sold its 5.4 percent stake for about $1.4 billion because it wants to diversify its business and make investments in other industries. The two companies still plan to collaborate however.
I remember when 6 speeds in a transmission was a lot. Now it seems like the race is on to see who can come up with the most gears. But the CEO of ZF transmissions says the race should end at 9. That it is the “natural limit” he says, because then you hit the law of diminishing returns, meaning more gears adds weight and complexity that cannot be offset by gains in fuel efficiency. Even so, as we’ve reported, Hyundai, GM and Ford all have 10-speed transmissions already in the works.
LOW-TECH BATTERY SHORTAGE
OK, over to China for the moment. China’s lead market may see a shortage next year as growth in sales of lead-acid batteries boosts demand. Output of lead-acid batteries in the first 3 quarters of this year jumped 28 percent, while forecasts figure a doubling of production by 2015. Data suggests that consumption will rise by nearly 9 percent with output only gaining a little over 5 percent.
We love getting your questions and comments but we also want you to send us any cool car pictures you come across. Check out these photos of car haulers from around 60 years ago that Jim Adcock from Yakima, Washington sent to us. It’s amazing to see how much smaller car haulers were back then, though they sure have a lot of styling character. And as Jim points out, imagine how tough the drivers must have been, to be able to drive those rigs without power steering or other modern comforts. If you’ve got any pictures you want to share with us, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll take videos too. Just upload them to your favorite video sharing service like YouTube, send us the link, and you just might see them on a future show.
2013 CHEVY TRAVERSE
(The 2013 Chevy Traverse review can only be seen in the video version of today’s show)
Don’t forget to join us tonight for Autoline After Hours. The Autoextremist and I will be sharing some of the latest insider information we’ve picked up on. And then we have Sandy Munro joining us to share what he learned in reverse engineering vehicles such as the Chevrolet volt and Toyota Venza. So join us tonight for the best insider’s look at what’s going on in this business, starting at 6 PM Eastern time right here on Autoline.tv
And that wraps up today’s report please join us again tomorrow.